Lethargic, gasping chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rama, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. rama

    rama New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2013
    New Mexico
    Hi all,

    My 10 month old Wyandotte hen is sick, I think its either a respiratory issue or gapeworms. It may have started with something mild a couple months ago - she coughed a few times and once made a loud made a wheezy noise, had some mess near her vent but it wasn't clogged and she was otherwise energetic and didn't get any worse or wheeze again so I just kept an eye on her and didn't worry about it. But this morning she was very lethargic and gasping for air. She would walk around a little bit, and I got her to eat a little yogurt and I think she ate some feed as well, but most of the day she either stood on one leg half sleeping/gasping or sat on the ground gasping. When she gasps she moves her neck up and down and opens her beak wide to try to get air. Her wattles are dark - kind of purpley I guess. Her breathing has a high pitched whine sometimes. I checked her throat for gapeworms (with a flashlight and a Q-tip) and couldn't find anything. The other three hens are all acting normally.

    It is cold here now so its definitely not heat related, and the birds range the yard (which is mostly mulch, we are in the high desert) for usually half to 3/4 of the day, and they are confined to a large run with lots of leaves/straw etc the rest of the time.

    My husband wants to treat for gapeworms and we might try it since she seems like she may very well die if we do nothing, but I'm not confident that's what it is so I'd rather get a better sense for what's wrong so we can treat it correctly. Any tips on what this might be and how to treat it?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I myself would probably give the hen Tylan .
    Have you gotten any new chickens?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  3. rama

    rama New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2013
    New Mexico
    Thanks for commenting. I've seen Tylan mentioned for respiratory illnesses - is it for a certain type?

    I haven't gotten any new birds, but there are lots of wild birds roosting in trees in our yard. Also had someone who has chickens look in on the birds while we were away in parts of Dec and early Jan, I guess there's some possibility of cross contamination from shoes?
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Is there any bloody mucus coming from her mouth or nose? As sick as she sounds I would probably give the worm medicine fenbendazole (safeGuard) or Valbazen, and Tylan50 injections into the breast muscle for 3-5 days. Dosage of Tylan50 is 1/2 ml per 5 lbs of weight. She sounds as though she either has ILT or aspergillosis, if she doesn't have gapeworm (which is pretty rare.) Dosage of fenbendazole or SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer or Panacur for gapeworm is 50 mg per every 2.2 lb, or about 1.5 ml for a 6-7 lb hen. Give this 3 days in a row, wait 10 days and give for 3 more days straight.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
  5. rama

    rama New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2013
    New Mexico
    Just went out to check on her... she has passed.
     
  6. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. That's awful news!
     
  7. rama

    rama New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2013
    New Mexico
    Thanks for your reply. As I noted a few minutes ago its too late for this one but would still be interested in figuring it out so we know if it could affect the rest.

    There was no bloody mucus, no mucus at all really. Its also very dry here - we are in the desert and have been in a drought so not sure how common aspergillosis would be, though we did have some rain and snow in the Fall so its possible something could have started then...
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    So sorry for your loss. Yes having someone else with chickens coming around without changing shoes, and washing hands might pass on disease. A necropsy by the state vet may tell you what she died from. Refrigeration but not freezing of the body is best for shipping. Again sorry.
     
  9. rama

    rama New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2013
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    Thanks realsis. This is our first group of hens and this one was the least friendly, but its still quite upsetting.
     
  10. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So sorry for your loss. :hugs
     

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